Lip sync

I’ve had a go at some lip sync animation using the Mery rig and a clip from Greys Anatomy



Creating my showreel

After researching and finally deciding what to actually put into my showreel, I got to work. As time went on it changed as I was creating more work that could be put into it, so there are multiple versions of my showreel:

Version 1:

Version 2, this time I added in some more dynamics work:

Version 3, I’ve added a Bifrost simulation and corrected the run cycle:

the latest version, another Bifrost simulation was added and the order changed:

I also had adjusted the Bus stop animation, trying to improve the movement of his leg while he’s sitting, the wireframe images were also changed: I managed to render out the lower poly wireframe. When smoothing my model (after hitting 3) I also pressed fn and the down arrow.




Before creating my own showreel, I’ve done a little research to see how I should go about it, including tips and showreels from a few artists…

Some notes I took while reading the links below:


The link below contains artists showreels to back up the points they have made…

Adding tags to your showreel to show what you did/what it is. Mike Bain’s showreel is a good example of this as it contains shots from easily recognised films:

Gerard Dunleavy, won international CG student of the year 2012, his showreel is below:

A playlist of the best showreels and demo reels on vimeo created by premium beat (most of these are company showreels and not individual artists but they are still very impressive…)

I really enjoyed the showreel below by Leticia Reinaldo, focussing on modelling, lighting and texturing. The timing is what caught my attention, there is enough time to view the models yet they aren’t overstaying their welcome…

A rather dramatic showreel.. some dramatic camera movements:

Waiting for the Bus…

I have a few walk cycles ready to put into my showreel but I also wanted something that wasn’t a cycle. So using the Dex character from the body mechanics mega pack, I created a Bus stop and decided to animate the character waiting for a bus which would then drive on by…

The set which I modelled myself, not putting to much detail into it as I wanted the animation of the character to be the main focus of the short:

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 11.07.23

and a rendered view from the camera I will be using:

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 11.08.19

Blocking out the movement:

Adding the In-betweens, this first attempt didn’t go as well as I had hoped it would, the movement at the start goes a little too fast – the timing needs to be adjusted throughout the entire clip. The wave at the start while the character is sitting doesn’t make a lot of sense at the moment, it needs a little more anticipation:

I then took another attempt at creating in-betweens and I am pleased to say that this attempt was much better:

Adding in the reaction of the character as he realises the bus isn’t stopping:

The character turns as the bus drives past:

Once I was happy with the main movement of the character I then went back through and adjusted to movement of the hands, giving them some delay and overlapping action:

I then decided I wanted more of a reaction from the character, so at the end I have him punch through the air, hopefully conveying that the character is angry/ annoyed:

After getting the rough movement of the arm, I then went in and adjusted it slightly:

After fixing the right arm, I then tried adjusting the left, just to give it a little more movement:

I then experimented with the movement of the right wrist as he punches the air:

I wasn’t happy with the movement of the wrist in the video above so i took another go at it:

and the finished render:

After feedback, it was suggested that the movement of the leg, from the characters lap to the ground could be a little stronger, so I attempted the movement again:

Some notes I took in preparation for this animation:

IMG_0639 IMG_0637

The above notes are taken from Richard William’s Animation Survival Kit, regarding the topic of anticipation. I also took a look at what ‘The Illusion of Life’ had to say about the same topic…

“People in the audience will not be able to understand the events on screen unless there is a planned sequence of actions that leads them clearly form one activity to the next…The anticipatory moves may not show why he is doing something, but there is no question about what he is doing – or what he is going to do next. Expecting that, the audience can now enjoy the way it is done.”

“Few movements in real life occur without some kind of anticipation. It seems to be the natural way for creatures to move, and without it there would be little power in any action.”   – pages 51-53, The Illusion of Life.

I also took note of Follow through and overlapping action and Arcs (also from the Illusion of life) to apply these principles to the animation:


JJ run cycle

Again using the body mechanics mega pack I’ve attempted another cycle, this time a run, using the JJ character. Created with my showreel in mind…

Firstly I looked at some of the Animations already on youtube and vimeo:

I really liked the next video, it’s just not what you would expect from that character, but I think I’ll stick to getting the hang of animation a generic run first…

This Stewart hunter run is also rather impressive…

As well as looking at videos already existing I also turned to Richard William’s book entitled, ‘The Animator’s Survival Kit’… using the photos/diagrams below as reference points for my own run cycle animation:

IMG_0619 IMG_0620

A few points to remember…


Getting the legs going, I’ve also animated the twisting of the torso and the movement of the shoulders…

and the arms…

Although I couldn’t figure out why it didn’t look right, he seemed to be running slowly and it wasn’t until a tutor asked if I was using 32 frames… duh.. the frame range needed to be shorter, he suggested using a 16 frame cycle for a steady run and then 6 frames for a sprint, so below is the rendered run cycle looking more like… well… an actual run…

Ellie Skip


Using the Ellie rig, I have attempted to create a skip! Created with my showreel in mind…

I began by posing out the key frames using the image below by Preston Blair…


Key Poses:

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 22.58.53 Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 22.58.58 Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 22.59.02 Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 22.59.05 Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 22.59.10 Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 22.59.13 Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 22.59.17 Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 22.59.21 Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 22.59.25 Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 22.59.28 Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 22.59.32

Other images I used were taken from the Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams, showing an extreme and a subtle skip, with my animation I aimed for somewhere in between the two:



Some skipping animations I found useful:

With the link below I found the lower movement of the body was useful when I t became to creating my inbetweens…

Where as in the next link I found the arms were a lot better, they seemed to have more purpose…

The first playblast of my skip:

In this first attempt, I felt that the character wasn’t lifting high enough on the bounce, the legs always seemed to be in a bent position, never really stretching fully, giving the lower half of the body an unnatural squash. To fix this I simply raised the hip control on the higher positions of the body, I’ve also smoothed out the movement by adjusting the curves…

I then uploaded this render to Facebook where I received some constructive criticism from tutors.. subtle movements I wouldn’t have necessary noticed myself such as, twisting the hips and the shoulders more and also giving the arms more purpose as they tend to drive the movement forward…

The arms no longer hang and swing as a result of the movement of the body but instead they now lift high and push down through the air pulling the body off the ground, the twist of the arm at it’s highest point helps to convey this…


Ugg walk cycle

Using the Ugg character from the body mechanics mega pack by Joe Daniels, I have attempted to create a more characteristic walk than that of the Mery rig. Below is an introduction video to the mega pack set…

Some reference videos I used to create my walk cycle with my showreel in mind:

The video below I used to create a basic male walk cycle, before adjusting it that of a ‘top heavy’ character:

Top heavy/ muscular reference…

I know it’s not really a walk cycle but I really enjoyed the animations on the link below, especially looking at how the animation has been developed after each video, building up to the final movement…

A muscle man walk cycle…

The image below, taken from Richard William’s The Animator’s Survival Kit, is one I found rather useful when switching from animating a female to a male character, the hip lifts upwards as the leg moves forward (A woman’s hip will dip as the leg moves forward)…


Also the movement of the feet will differ:


Unfortunately I lost my step by step files but I have got a walk cycle of before and after adjusting the curves in the graph editor…The playlist below is from before I went in and adjusted the curves… I started off with blocking out the movement of the feet, to a pattern similar to the image above by Richard Williams. I then moved on to sorting the hips – trying to get a slight bounce to show the pushing of the body weight upwards. The movement of the arms and shoulders is where most of the weight of the character will be conveyed, as it is a ‘top heavy’ character. I was trying to show the shouldering pulling the weight of the arm forward, with the movement of the elbow and wrist following through and overlapping as the shoulder moves back again.

Ugg walk cycle after adjusting the curves, to make more of an arced movement using the graph editor…

Also added a slight rotation into the movement of the feet:

after adjusting the curves to create more of an arc:

Final render: